Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Sweet Freedom

You know what the best thing about America is? Freedom. And if the Republicans like to pretend they know about one thing, that one thing is freedom. "Obama is trampling on our freedom!" they say. "Obama is ripping up the constitution!" they shout. Is he really? Or is it the Republican party who is on the fast track to throwing freedom to the lions?

In the election of 2010, the Tea Party rode into Madison and Washington D.C. on the promise they were going to start creating jobs on day 1 (even though they all say government doesn't create jobs, blah, blah, blah.) So, they get to work on day one, and what do they immediately start voting on? ABORTION. Hmm....since when does limiting a woman's ability to make her own healthcare decisions create jobs? Ohhh, that's right. It doesn't! They are so terrified that the Affordable Care Act is a government take over of healthcare, yet they sit in congress and tell women, "Sorry ladies, the government is going to tell you that you can't have abortions or birth control." Wow, it sure isn't easy deciphering conservative logic!

Let's talk gay marriage. You know, I still can't believe that one's sexual identity is even an issue in the year 2012. I feel that being who you are, loving who you are, and accepting who you are, regardless of what society tells you, is the most free anyone can be. But still, there are people who try, and try incredibly hard, to legislate love. Denying people the right to spend a lifetime together in marriage with the person they love, is one the biggest threats to freedom out there today. There's absolutely no reason that marriage for all isn't the law of the land. Who are we to judge how others live? The bible says, "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." Huh! Look at that! The book Republicans use to justify homophobia, also calls them out on being judgmental jerks. Figures.

Financial freedom! It's something that, for a sweeping majority of us in this country, we don't have. We have to scrounge, save, and hope and pray we have the means to survive. Rent, groceries, car payments, gas, bills, kids, school. It's difficult. So, why do Republicans want to make sure more of their rich overlords get richer, and we get poorer? Well, the obvious reason is, of course, because those rich people are the money oil of the Republican machine. Fast Fact: If vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan had his way, he'd be heaping an extra $6,000 dollars in medical expenses on the laps of seniors by taking away Medicare. Is that something our elderly can afford? Of course not. How are they supposed to come up with that kind of extra income? 

Now, I have yet to figure out how giving people like Mitt Romney a tax cut, and offsetting that tax cut by taking away vital social services and raising the taxes of the majority of Americans, will benefit us. How exactly do tax cuts for corporations create jobs? Didn't we found how badly that DIDN'T work under George W. Bush? I can't believe, with all the statistics, graphs and numbers that show otherwise, that Republicans are still able to push, and people believe, that giant lie that is "rich tax cuts = job creation." You know what's a great economy stimulator? A fair tax on the wealthy, tax cuts for small business, tax cuts for the middle class, pouring money into cities, towns and neighborhoods and repairing our infrastructure!

Voting Rights. A fundamental right of every free American citizen. Except, that right, something we all value and know is inalienable, is up on the GOP chopping block. Voter purges, voter ID laws, restricting same-day voter registration. It's all in their grand plan to make sure they win elections all the time. They can't run on their message, because their message is crap, so they do the next best thing - keeping people of all races, creeds and ages, from voting at all. Look what happened with our own voter ID law. It got struck down! Permanent injunctions! Look at Florida. The federal government had to intervene because if Rick Scott had gotten his way, only rich, white men would have been left with the ability to vote. They can't win on merit (because they don't have any) so they have to cheat everyone else out on something that we value and something that makes us who we are - participating in our democracy.

Women's rights. I touched a little bit on abortion above, but our struggle includes more than just our biological rights. Jobs, education, society. Hell, 3 more states won't even ratify the Equal Rights Amendment so that it can be put into the constitution. Seriously. We still have a long fight ahead of us. Republicans are good are telling us women how we should act, how we should behave (right Michigan Republicans?) what rights we can have. They're making it clear they want us barefoot and pregnant. Their opposition to our biological freedom is just the tip of the iceberg. We see it when they vote against the Violence Against Women act and the Paycheck Fairness Act, we see it when they say we are "disturbing their religious freedom" by demanding our healthcare needs are met, we see it when Glenn Grothman tells us that, "You know, money is more important to men" and that "Single parenthood is child abuse." Mitt Romney wants a federal personhood law. Paul Ryan has a fierce anti-women voting record. I'm sorry, when exactly did we revert back to 1955? 

The next time a Republican wants to convince you that they are the party of freedom, of liberty and of justice, just point out how much they love taking rights away from everyone else. They'll screw us all over if it means they get ahead. That's not the America I know, and if we want to save ourselves from total conservative defeat, there's a few things we can do:

Research and support candidates who will uphold our rights.
Donate your time to campaigns.
Register people to vote.
Most importantly - VOTE!

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